James Friedman Pleasures and Terrors of Kissing - Workshopx Documentary Photography Workshops Photojournalism

James Friedman – Pleasures and Terrors of Kissing

© James Friedman

I do not remember any kissing between family members as I was growing up. It wasn’t until my mother was hospitalized for eight months, unable to speak, that we began to kiss good-bye before I would depart for the day after visiting her. I was thirty-nine years old. These newly discovered displays of affection were imbued with genuine caring and profound sadness as we both knew she had only a short time to live. Our relationship in my mother’s final months inspired my photographic project, Pleasures and Terrors of Kissing.

I am attracted to and enjoy engaging in projects that could easily devolve into cliché. Such was the case with Pleasures and Terrors of Kissing. By including other subjects with the kissers (most of the time), I was able to make complex, layered and surprising photographs—and was able to eschew predictability.

Photographs from this project were made between 1994 and 2001 with an analog camera and black and white film.

Currently I am looking for a publisher for Pleasures and Terrors of Kissing.


James Friedman – a teacher, curator, picture editor and a fine art, portrait, architectural, commercial and personal documentary photographer. His work has been exhibited internationally and been published in numerous books and discussed in Artforum, Arts, Afterimage, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Village Voice and The New York Times.

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